Woman settles suit against Haskell, US over alleged rape
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A woman who sued Haskell Indian Nations University after she said she was raped by two students in a dorm on the Kansas campus has settled her lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed in 2016 by the former student, listed in court documents as Jane Doe, closed Tuesday after she and the U.S. government, which runs the university, agreed to the dismissal, according to court documents, The Lawrence Journal-World reported .
The woman’s attorney, Dan Curry, and Jim Cross, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Kansas, both confirmed the settlement but did not specify the amount. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
“She is happy to have the case resolved,” Curry said. “She wants to get her education back on track, and this resolution will help her do that.”
With the lawsuit and criminal proceedings against the two men over, the woman plans to return to Haskell this spring, he said.
The woman reported to police and the university that the two men raped her on Nov. 15, 2014. In October 2016, she sued Haskell, the U.S. government, the U.S. Department of Interior, the secretary of the interior and three Haskell administrators. She alleged that the university, located in Lawrence, allowed an unsafe environment by not enforcing alcohol and curfew policies and retaliated against her after she reported the alleged rapes.
The lawsuit was filed under Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, including sexual violence. In July, Judge Thomas Marten ruled that Title IX doesn’t apply to Haskell as it does to other universities because the Bureau of Indian Education runs the university. He dismissed much of the lawsuit but allowed the woman to argue in an amended lawsuit that Haskell employees unlawfully released her private records to people outside the school during criminal court proceedings. The government disputed that claim.
The two men were expelled from Haskell and were each charged with rape and aggravated sodomy.
Two trials for Galen Satoe ended in hung juries and prosecutors said in May they would not pursue a third trial.
A trial for Jared Wheeler also ended with a hung jury. He pleaded guilty in November 2016 to aggravated battery and was sentenced to two months in jail and two years of probation.
Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com